Live and work in a remote part of Botswana, surrounded by the savannah landscapes of the Southern African bush. You’ll help us protect local wildlife, like elephants, leopards, lions, and more. This is an amazing chance to see these incredible creatures in their natural habitat and learn about real conservation work.
Take part in exciting conservation activities including elephant research, anti-poaching patrols, and much more. You’ll be supervised by conservation experts and help us with our mission to create a space where animals can roam freely and thrive.
We’re based at the Wild at Tuli reserve by the Limpopo River. You can spend hot afternoons cooling down by the pool, and in the evenings, exchange stories around the fire with your fellow volunteers.
This wildlife conservation volunteer project is the ultimate bush adventure and we’d love to have you along for the ride!
Children aged 3-14 must be accompanied by at least one adult paying full price
We offer discounts for families and groups of friends travelling together. Call us on 1 212 244 7234 for more info.
Book by 31 January 2019 and get a $201.9 discount! Excludes start dates in June, July & August Click here to read more
When you apply you only pay $295, which comes off the total price.
Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 1 212 244 7234 to see if we can offer a discount.
Completely flexible dates
Anyone aged 16 or over can join
What's included in the price?
Food (three meals a day)
Travel and medical insurance
Airport pick-up and drop-off
Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival
Transport to and from your work placement
In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff
Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team
Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources
A supervisor/mentor at your work placement
Training and workshops from our experienced local staff
Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns
Access to our local office with internet connection
Certification of project completion
Visa support and advice
Access to our alumni services and discounts
Fundraising support, including your own personalized fundraising website
Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor
Personalized MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination
A free cultural awareness course
Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch
Support to help you complete registration or internship documents, if applicable
What's not included?
Visa costs (where applicable)
Is wildlife conservation volunteering in Botswana right for me?
This wildlife conservation volunteer opportunity in Botswana is open to all ages. If you love the great outdoors and conserving wildlife, you’ll be right at home on this project.
This project also gives you the opportunity to break from a busy life in the city. It’s a chance to get off the beaten track, and connect with nature.
Pursuing a career in conservation? This project offers a perfect balance between research and doing hands-on work. You’ll learn from conservation experts, and the experience you gain will stand out in your resume. It’ll give you a lot to talk about in future interviews, from the challenges you faced to the amazing things you learned and discovered.
What conservation volunteer work will I do in Botswana?
As a volunteer on this Conservation Project, you provide the much-needed manpower to protect wildlife in the Wild at Tuli reserve.
Here are some of the tasks you can take part in:
- Conduct elephant research to help track population growth, movement and family units
- Undertake anti-poaching patrols and help get rid of snares
- Help build waterholes and ensure they’re always full
- Conduct species surveys to help us track the population density of certain birds, animals and vegetation
Your work will be divided into four main categories:
Help us conduct elephant research
The Tuli region is home to a large elephant population, which is one of the most exciting things about the area. But these gentle giants have a huge impact on the environment with their 12-18 hour-a-day feeding habit.
For this reason, it’s important for us to keep track of their population growth and movement. You'll help us do this by taking part in elephant research. For example, you'll help identify and record individual elephants and their family groups. You'll also learn how to spot and record movement patterns.
Illegal poaching of bush meat is a major challenge to wildlife conservation in Botswana. As a conservation volunteer, you’ll help us tackle poaching in the Tuli area. You’ll join local staff members in removing snares around the reserve.
In 2017, our Conservation volunteers removed over 1,500 snares in Botswana. We've seen a decrease in the number of snares and an increase in the amount of wildlife in recent years. We need you to help us continue these efforts.
You will never be expected to take part in any anti-poaching activities that could risk confrontation with poachers.
Water is scarce in Southern Africa, so we have to work to conserve it.
You’ll help us construct and repair waterholes, boreholes and rainwater tanks. This ensures that water is caught during the wet season and that there is enough fresh water during the dry season.
Recording the movements of wild animals is not so easy, but we do a good job of it through our ongoing. While you’re with us, you’ll help with a bird census, crocodile sensus, spoor identification or compiling an inventory of all the mammal species in the reserve.
We’re currently conducting a survey of all the baobab trees in the reserve and doing a thorough vegetation mapping project.
You work on the surveys will help us prove that this area of Botswana is unique and essential area for protecting biodiversity in Southern Africa. This will help us achieve the long-term goal of establishing a legally binding conservancy for the central Tuli area.
Who are our project partners?
We partner with the Wild at Tuli Reserve in Botswana.
The reserve is owned by Dr Helena Fitchat and Mrs Judi Gounaris, two unique women who share a spirit of adventure and passion for the magic of the African Wilderness and its wildlife.
Where in Botswana will I work?
Wild At Tuli
For your conservation volunteer work in Botswana, you’ll be based at the Projects Abroad Wild at Tuli reserve, which is close to the border of South Africa.
The reserve is located on the banks of the mighty Limpopo River, which is in the very heart of the bush. There is a large elephant population, crocodiles laze happily in the warm river sand, and at night you’ll hear hyena giggles and lion roars. Tuli is truly a wild place.
The camp where you’ll live has a rustic, safari feel to it. You can spend starry evenings exchanging stories next to the campfire with other volunteers and local staff members. In the day when it’s hot, you can cool down in the crystal blue pool.
We encourage you to fully-immerse in this experience. Our project is thoroughly risk assessed and supervised, but you must remember that there will be wild animals around. Therefore, our policy is that you must never leave camp without a qualified staff member.
A typical day of volunteering at Wild at Tuli
As a Conservation volunteer in Botswana, you can expect to work five-six hours a day. Your workload will be divided as follows:
- Four hours of hard work during the cool morning hours
- Two hours of less demanding tasks in the late afternoon
In the morning, you’ll typically help local staff members with activities like digging water holes. Mornings can also include an anti-poaching patrol to remove snares and identify animal spoor.
Mid-afternoon can be extremely hot, so you can use this time to eat, sleep, swim, relax, and read.
Late afternoons and early evenings are the perfect times to conduct surveys. Animals and birds are very active at this time, as they wake from their midday sleep and drink at waterholes. You may also join rangers on another anti-poaching patrol.
Living in a shared accommodation will give you wonderful opportunities to bond with your fellow volunteers. You can spend your evenings and weekends getting to know each other over meals and playing games. You’ll make lasting memories during bush walks and game drives, and at night, share the exciting stories from your day’s activities.
What are the goals and impact of this Conservation Project?
The goal of this volunteer Conservation Project is to preserve land and to protect wildlife species under threat.
The Tuli reserve is located where Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe meet, and has sadly seen a decrease in wildlife populations. This is due to:
- encroachment of human settlements
- illegal hunting
- land degradation
By doing species research, soil erosion control, necessary construction, and anti-poaching drives, we are helping preserve what is left of this highly sensitive Botswana wilderness.
The ultimate goal is to create a legally binding protected conservancy by combining the Wild at Tuli reserve with other game reserves, national parks, and conservation areas in the region.
If we join forces with these other reserves and parks, we can create one powerful voice. This will be a positive step in sharing the message of conservation in Botswana. Become a volunteer to help make this happen!
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring Our Impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
I am extremely proud to have been part of a group that helped to remove a whopping 47 snares in one anti-poaching activity. Knowing it may prevent another animal suffering like this makes me feel like we achieved something.
I decided on the Conservation project in South Africa/Botswana because the idea of working in such a secluded and animal-orientated environment was a very exciting prospect for me.
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